What is a Rocker Switch?
A rocker switch is a type of electrical switch that rocks back and forth when pressed, making contact with internal wiring to complete a circuit. They come in a variety of sizes and shapes, with different numbers of poles and throws, which determine the number of circuits they can control. The most common types of rocker switches are single-pole, single-throw (SPST) and double-pole, double-throw (DPDT)
What is an Illuminated Rocker Switch?
An illuminated rocker switch is a type of switch that provides visual indication of its on/off status through a small LED light built into the switch. People typically use the switch to control electrical circuits in dimly lit areas, such as in cars, boats, or RVs. When selecting an illuminated rocker switch, it’s important to consider the voltage and amperage of the circuit it will control, as well as its color and design to complement the aesthetics of the project or vehicle. Wiring an illuminated rocker switch is a fairly simple process that requires a few tools and some basic knowledge.
How to wire a rocker switch?
A rocker switch is an electrical toggle switch that rocks back and forth when pressed, which means one side of the switch is raised while the other is depressed, much like a seesaw. This action either opens or closes an electrical circuit. Rocker switches are commonly used to power devices on and off and are characterized by their flat surface and nearly rectangular shape with rounded edges. They can have different numbers of pins depending on their function, such as single-pole single-throw (SPST), single-pole double-throw (SPDT), double-pole single-throw (DPST), or double-pole double-throw (DPDT), indicating varying levels of control over one or more circuits. Wiring a rocker switch typically involves connecting the source power to one pin, the load (device to be powered) to another, and sometimes an additional grounding wire, all according to the manufacturer’s wiring diagram.
Before wiring your illuminated rocker switch, you’ll need to determine its wiring configuration. The manufacturer should provide this information, which you can find on the switch itself or in the product documentation. Typical wiring configurations for illuminated rocker switches include SPST and DPDT.
Using your wire cutter/stripper, strip about 1/4 inch of insulation from the end of each wire. Make sure to twist the ends of the wires together tightly to prevent fraying if they have already been stripped.
Connect the wires to the switch terminals according to the wiring configuration you determined in step 1. If your switch has two terminals, connect one wire to each terminal. If your switch has four terminals, you’ll need to connect two wires to each terminal.
For SPST switches, connect the wire to the terminal labeled “power” or “input” to the switch’s positive (usually red) wire. Connect the other wire to the terminal labeled “load” or “output” to the device’s positive wire.
For DPDT switches, you will have two pairs of terminals. Connect one wire to each of the two terminals on one side of the switch and the other two wires to the corresponding terminals on the other side of the switch.
Once the wires are connected to the switch terminals, use a soldering iron to solder the connections. This will ensure a secure and permanent connection.
After soldering, wrap each connection with electrical tape to insulate it and prevent any accidental shorts.
1 & 4 : OUTGOING TO RELAY, EQUIPMENT OR ACCESSORY (LOWER SWITCH)
2 & 5 : INCOMING POWER FROM SOURCE (+)
3 & 6 : OUTGOING TO RELAY, EQUIPMENT OR ACCESSORY (TOP SWITCH)
7 : GROUND / EARTH NEGATIVE (-)
On-Off-On, (On)-Off-(On) & On-Off-(On) DPDT Dual LED Units
You can find the corresponding wiring diagram for your own switch.
Wiring an illuminated rocker switch may appear daunting initially. However, with the right tools and knowledge, it’s a straightforward process. Follow this step-by-step guide, and you’ll wire an illuminated rocker switch in no time, adding convenience and functionality. These switches are particularly useful in dimly lit environments such as cars, boats, and RVs. The visual cue from the illumination makes it easy to determine the switch’s status, which might otherwise be difficult to see.
When selecting an illuminated rocker switch, it’s important to consider the type of circuit you’ll be controlling and the voltage and amperage of the circuit. Be sure to choose a switch that is rated for the appropriate voltage and amperage to ensure safe and reliable operation.
The main difference between an illuminated rocker switch and a regular rocker switch is the presence of an LED light or neon lamp in the illuminated switch. The light allows for easy identification of the switch’s status, making it ideal for use in low-light environments or as an indicator light.
To ensure safe and reliable operation, you should select a switch that is rated for the appropriate voltage and amperage of the circuit you’ll be controlling. Choose a switch that matches the voltage and amperage of your application.
The wiring configuration of your illuminated rocker switch should be provided by the manufacturer and can be found on the switch itself or in the product documentation. Typical wiring configurations for illuminated rocker switches include single-pole, single-throw (SPST) and double-pole, double-throw (DPDT).
It depends on the amperage rating of the switch and the combined amperage of the devices you’ll be controlling. Be sure to check the switch’s specifications and the amperage requirements of your devices before wiring multiple devices to one switch.
Yes, you can use a rocker switch to control a motor. However, it’s important to select a switch that is rated for the voltage and amperage of your motor to ensure safe and reliable operation. Additionally, you may need to add a relay or other control device depending on the specifics of your motor control circuit.